Putumayo Presents: Music of the Andes
Putumayo World Music/Ode
Celebrating its 20th birthday the Putumayo label here returns to its South American roots with this collection, Music of the Andes. I love this one. Some wonderful, enchanting moods (Tibus Futuras’ Hijos del Viento) that transcend any western-appropriation notion of this as street-busking/nail-clinic music. You hear those evocative instruments – pan pipes and flutes – far away from cruddy backing tapes and rudimentary trills in exchange for pocket silver. You also hear the full range – across Argentina, Peru, Columbia, Chile, Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecudaor – music that brings to mind elements of opera (Dueto Nocturnal’s Caompanero) as well as tango, folk music, music handed down.
One thing I particularly love about his compilation is the brevity. Just over half-an-hour, often these comps offer too much of a good thing.
But it’s appropriate here to hear a version – more traditional – of El Condor Pasa (Pena) given that is the sound of the Andes in a lot of people’s minds; that is what gave people (the Simon & Garfunkel version) a clue to this sound – in a mainstream sense.
You get a lot of heart from this music, from these versions, from this compilation. I don’t always love the Exit Through The Giftshop version of music that Putumayo promotes – but when they get it right (as is the case here) they really get it right.